Haarlem, Netherlands, April 2011
Sascha’s my main character, been around in my head ages.
I didn’t specifically intend to write him a certain way, but I had long tired of the “rich, aristocratic, angst ridden” vampire. I wanted something a bit more…down to earth. At relative peace with the circumstances of his life, and the drastic detour they take when he gets hauled off and turned.
I also didn’t want the chaste hero, to the rescue. Nor the angry brutalizer. It was like this “average” vamp had been purely overlooked in the frenzy to write characters with large neon signs of “look how amazing I am, puny mortals.”
So I let him keep his sense of ethics. His morality might be considered iffy, in that he beds ANYONE, or nearly anyone, and delights in it, in a way that it keeps him close to his own humanity. He works a night job, the same thing he trained for as a mortal, and keeps his own blood lust on a tight leash because that’s what you do.
Of course it has to all fall apart. But I wanted something that felt closer to real. Accepting that he’s still who he is, with some forced on lifestyle changes. His decisions and his sticking to the ethics he had as a mortal.
I think he’d live a happy quiet life in this little roadway in a small city, not bothering anyone, if given the chance.
Want a taste? Here you go:
“Hi Sascha. So, your pretty boy’s home tomorrow. Hungry? You look like death. You‘re going to scare him.” Stefan taunts, talking animatedly and enthusiastically. “How long has it been? Too long, by the looks of you. I’d worry about how much more you can feed from him before you kill him. Its bound to happen. We all get careless. Should I stick around, turn him in case you go too far? Just in case you can’t do the right thing?” Stefan launches into needling me, as much as I anticipated he would. Stefan and I, we have a long history.
“I respect your decision to not kill. Frankly I don’t do it anymore either but why the night job? Still being the dutiful medic? What’s the fun in that? Why this need to deprive yourself?” Stefan pesters as he keeps pace with me. He’s goading me tonight but to what end, I cannot fathom. Stefan being Stefan, I suppose.
“I’m not rich. I don’t have access to clan or council money. I have bills. I have mortals of my own to support. And I don‘t want to feed from strangers. Its too risky. James and I have a good thing. And if people didn‘t keep interfering, I‘d have sources. If they‘d just let me be.”
“A great lot of good it does you. One is away, the other won’t let you feed from her. Don’t you just miss it? The skin on skin, their body under your command, the sex, the blood, the taste, running over your lips? You can just take what you like. You could do what you liked, if you used more of your gifts. You don’t have to kill. They get used to the bite, they crave it. Look at James. He’s hooked on you. You could drain him dry and he’d smile all the way.” Stefan says. “If you don’t, maybe I will. Lock the boy up. Detox him. Kill him. It could be so much fun. I’ll bet he’d be way more fun as an immortal than you. You could demand it, and they’d give it. Even Rachel. You just never tried. It doesn’t take much to convince them. James and I could have so much fun.”
I clench my fists. “Fuck off, Stefan.”
“I do like it better when they’re not quite so passive. I like a bit of fight. Mm. You used to be so much fun. Good times. Drove me up the wall back then. But I like that Sascha compared to now.” Stefan purrs. He’s one of his moods tonight, the evil Stefan, not the patient and calm one. I’ve never figured out the rhyme or reason to his ways, and I suspect I never will. Compassion and care one day, debauchery and a mean streak the next. What kind of mortal were you, Stefan?
“You’re disturbed, Stefan. Deeply and profoundly disturbed.”